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Friday 19 January 2018

Birds Eye beef pledge

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Frozen Food giant Birds Eye announced last week that it would source all its future beef requirements from Irish and British farms in an attempt to draw a line under the horsemeat scandal.

The new sourcing commitment will apply to Birds Eye burgers from the end of June, with all other beef products to follow by the end of the year, according to the Brussels-based news source, Agra Facts.

The move represents another boost for Irish meat producers, who have seen demand for farm-assured products rise sharply since the horsemeat scandal first broke. The ICMSA said that the move was very good news for the sector.

Sales of Birds Eye burgers have bucked the recent drift by consumers away from frozen meat products, rising by 12pc since mid-February. This was in contrast to a 34pc decline in sales for other suppliers in the market segment.

Birds Eye has already been sourcing most of their beef requirement for the 100m beef burgers it sells in Britain each year from British and Irish farms. From September, all the company's beef burgers will have new labelling to signify its commitment to only using red meat from here and in Britain.

The company said the move would create a "simpler supply chain that allows for full product traceability." Birds Eye started DNA testing its meat in March.

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